15 July, 2020, 10:37

Stiltsville: A Prohibition Era Vacation Spot Turned Marine Reservation

Experience something a bit out of the ordinary on your next trip to Florida by taking a look at Stiltsville. Originally a 1920’s community about a mile offshore of Biscayne Bay, Stiltsville was built to be accessible only by boat. It became a salacious hideaway for celebrities and the rich to unwind in debauchery during the Prohibition Era.

Back in the Heyday

Stiltsville began as one small shack built by a guy named Crawfish Eddie, who wanted to make a place where people could come gamble without fear from the law. Since the shack was located one mile out to sea, standard rules didn’t apply. Eventually, more people caught adrift of this clever idea and started building their own shacks until one Edward Turner erected the Quarterdeck Club in 1940, an exclusive club that was invite-only. This is was the beginning of Stiltsville’s rise into the elite. In the ‘60s, the Bikini Club took center stage as a social club filled with alcohol and a clothing optional sun deck.

Today’s Stiltsville

Flash forward a century and only 7 out of the 27 original structures remain due to years of hurricanes and rough seas; however, the “community” still holds a mystique to it. You can even see buildings jetting out from the sea from the vantage point of nearby mainland Florida beaches. Once owned by the era’s elite, it’s now under the protection of Biscayne National park, and setting foot on the structures requires a special permit. The goal is to preserve the buildings as an essential part of the marine ecosystem since many marine animals have incorporated it into their home.

An Elite Feeling

While you can cruise by and imagine the wild parties that once took place in this floating village, we suggest giving yourself an elite experience by reserving a room at the Marenas Beach Resort. Easily accessible to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the chic suites offer panoramic views of the Atlantic from your private balcony. It doesn’t get much better than that.